Poker tournament refund: Casino must pay $1.7 million for rigged tournament

Poker tournament refund: An Atlantic City casino will refund participants in a poker tournament. One of the poker players slipped in fake poker chips, distorting the outcome.

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    The Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa (l.) faces its sister property, The Water Club, in Atlantic City, N.J., seen here June 26, 2013. Figures released in January showed that Atlantic City's casinos won $2.86 billion in 2013, down from just over $3 billion in 2012.
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 New Jersey casino is reimbursing players in a poker tournament that was suspended after counterfeit chips were discovered.

More than 2,100 entrants who finished outside the top 450 and played in the same room as the North Carolina man who is accused of introducing the fake chips will get $560, including a refund of their $60 entry fees from the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa.

The top 27 players are to share the remaining prize money, which comes to $19,323 each.

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All entrants will get back their $60 fee under the deal, which was ordered by the state Division of Gaming Enforcement.

Between fees refunds and prizes, the casino is to pay out $1.7 million.

The Borgata enhanced security and introduced more intricate chips for its poker tournament last week.

Christan Lusardi of Fayetteville, N.C., was charged with theft and rigging a public contest after the January tournament was suspended over the fake chips.

Authorities said Lusardi, suspecting his fake chips had been noticed, flushed them down the toilet in his hotel room at Harrah's Resort Atlantic City, where he had been staying. But the chips clogged the pipes, and guests on the floor below complained that water was dripping into their rooms.

Maintenance was called, and they found the chips, with a tournament value of $2.7 million, although they had no actual cash value.

Lusardi is in custody awaiting trial.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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